Plain English and the law

This booklet highlights the importance and benefits of clear communication from a legal perspective. Our aim is to show you how plain English can save you time and money by avoiding unnecessary legal costs.

This booklet has three parts.

Part one provides you with evidence of the legal consequences of clear and unclear communications in three court cases in Ireland. Two of the legal case studies show how unclear communication led to costly court cases. One case study shows how a company won a court case because it was proven that they had provided clear information to a consumer. 

Part two provides you with the current context of why clear communication is now more important than ever. We describe what plain English is and how it is gaining traction – from public demands for clear consumer contracts to the emphasis on plain language in the Central Bank of Ireland’s Consumer Protection Code.

Part three provides you with the know-how of how to provide clear information. We provide guidance on how to write in plain English, words and phrases to avoid, document design tips and other useful resources.

This booklet is a joint initiative between the National Adult Literacy Agency and Mason Hayes & Curran. We believe plain English can save you time and money, and we hope that after reading this booklet you will too.

But most important of all, we believe that everyone has the right to receive clear information that allows them to make informed choices.  

Plain English and the law
The National Adult Literacy Agency and Mason Hayes & Curran
Date of Publication
Thursday, 9 February, 2017